Workplace inequality extends beyond the gender pay gap, says a study, as women feel less supported than men by their managers. 

Research from the workforce management app, Deputy, has found that while 77 percent of men feel able to voice their opinions at work, only 65 percent of women are able to. 

The global study, entitled State of Shift Work report, looked at workforce trends across the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.

It also found that more men believe their work contributes to their organisation’s success when compared to women – 95 percent, compared to 87 percent.

David Kelly, General Manager for EMEA at Deputy, said: “Everybody working in health and social care, hospitality and retail has been under enormous pressure over the last year which can only have been made worse by the inherent inequality that our data is highlighting.

He said: ““These workers deserve to be treated with more respect, paid fairly and provided with more protection and predictability of when they will be working. Chaotic last minute shift scheduling, and regularly asking team members to work unplanned overtime, can contribute to financial, emotional and family stress.” 

The pay gap did contribute to the inequalities demonstrated in the report, as while 34 percent of men had a pay increase in the last 12 months, this was only the case for 22 percent of women.

Both men and women surveyed said they did not enjoy certain aspects of shift work – but their reasons were prioritised differently. 

Men preferred control over shifts and did not enjoy the health impacts such as poor sleep and unpredictable schedules. They put low pay and limited career options at the bottom of their list of dislikes. 

Women, on the other hand, put health impacts at the top of their lists as well as low pay. Those surveyed said they would prefer to have advance notice of schedules and they wanted to receive hazard pay. 

Men also wanted to receive clear communication for shift availability but they said they wanted compensation if an employer changed a shift after posting a schedule.

This aspect of the report also demonstrates how women are more likely to ‘put up’ with changes in shifts, but were more accommodating in receiving a blanket sum (hazard pay) to cover these changes. 

David Kelly said: “The rights of workers are hugely important, and policymakers need to recognise that everyone must be treated fairly for the work they do. This issue was highlighted by the Taylor Review back in 2017, yet very little progress has been made since then. We need to do more to address inequality and to treat our workers with respect or we risk driving more workers away from vital industries that are already struggling with staffing shortages.”

He warned ignoring the needs of shift workers could result in them leaving their jobs. He said: “If we don’t address these issues, eventually the impact will be felt by everybody, from pubs and restaurants at risk of closure, to empty shelves, to care homes unable to take on more residents.”